Pontoon Boat Pros and Cons

What essentially started out as rafts are now an important sector of the boating market. The logs that used to keep rafts afloat were replaced by aluminum tubes, and then presto: the modern pontoon boat was born! 

Pontoon boats pros and cons

Bigger motors, more speed, and improvements to the tube design made these boats a practical solution for many boaters. 

When you’re shopping for a boat, you can expect tradeoffs: more deck space in exchange for amenities; lower price in exchange for more power; etc. With a pontoon boat, you lose speed and range in exchange for a floating platform that’s perfect for socializing. Here’s a quick guide to some of the pros and cons of pontoon boats.

Advantages of a Pontoon Boat

First and foremost, the biggest pro of buying a pontoon is the space. The open deck with lots of seating makes the pontoon perfect for large gatherings out on the water. There’s also plenty of room for coolers, food, equipment, etc. 

Pontoon boat pros

Additionally, the maintenance costs of a pontoon are low. Generally, a pontoon will be driven by a smaller outboard engine. As for the boat itself, the main concern is keeping it clean. The ride is quite comfortable on calm, inland waters, and a light chop will give cruising in a pontoon the feel of a catamaran.

Disadvantages of a Pontoon Boat

Pontoons don’t run very fast, nor do they have a great range. It’s a great boat for a day on the water with friends and/or family, but don’t plan on venturing out very far with it. 

Pontoon boats cons

Ride safety can be a drawback for some because when the water gets rough, a pontoon doesn’t perform well. Checking the weather before heading out is a must for any boat, especially a pontoon, as the aluminum tubes can vibrate and shake when they rock, unnerving passengers. Additionally, the handling isn’t quite as good as a traditional V-hull type boat.

Should You Buy a Pontoon Boat?

Pontoons are wildly popular because they give boaters a chance to enjoy the boating experience with lots of people on a roomy deck. 

Pontoon boats

If you’re serious about buying one, get a full canvas cover to protect it; a Bimini top to protect you and your passengers on the water; and a lift curtain to cover a portable toilet. If you’re buying used, inspect the aluminum tubes for signs of leaks or patches. 



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